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$1.5 million OK'd for summer food programs

Columbus -- Gov. John Kasich has authorized spending up to $1.5 million more to help feed needy children during the summer when they aren't getting free lunches at school.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks said the money will help continue last summer's weekend meals backpack program for children in need. The money comes from the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds. Kasich signed the order Jan. 29.

Some 45 percent of school-aged children in Ohio receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year. But when summer comes, participation in the seasonal companion program available to those same children draws only a fraction of eligible youngsters.

The foodbank association said childhood hunger can lead to higher rates of diabetes and other conditions, and affect learning.

-- Associated Press

Fire closes West Side Market indefinitely

Cleveland -- The city's historic West Side Market will remain closed until further notice after fire damaged some inside stalls.

Firefighters were called to the market about 2:20 a.m. Jan. 30. There was no structural damage but extensive smoke damage to the market, which is a popular attraction for city visitors.

Food throughout the 100-year-old market must be inspected for health and quality assurance before it can reopen. No one was hurt in the fire. The cause was not immediately known.

-- Associated Press

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